LA County Sheriffs Charged with Systematic Abuse, Corruption in Federal Case

According to the Los Angeles Times, 18 current
and past members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
have been charged with abuse of inmates, misconduct, and
obstructing an investigation. Here’s the U.S. attorney leading the

“The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice
case shows how some members of the Sheriff’s Department considered
themselves to be above the law. Instead of cooperating with the
federal investigation to ensure that corrupt law enforcement
officers would be brought to justice, the defendants in this case
are accused of taking affirmative steps designed to ensure that
light would not shine on illegal conduct that violated basic
constitutional rights.”

So what sorts of things did the officers do? In one case, they
arrested the husband of the Austrian consul who was visiting the
jail and then, when the consul herself complained, they cuffed her
for no legitimate reason. And there’s this:

One of the indictments details three separate incidents in which
prosecutors alleged that a sheriff’s sergeant encouraged deputies
he supervised at the visiting area of Men’s Central Jail to use
excessive force and unlawful arrests of visitors.

Visitors were taken to a deputy break room, which could not be
seen by the public, and beaten by sheriff’s officials, the
indictment said. One visitor had his arm fractured.

In a separate but related case, seven other officers tried to
block an FBI investigation into misconduct. A sheriff’s department
officer harassed an agent outside her house and then some tried to
pull this off:

The document shows that federal authorities allege that the
officials hampered the federal probe after the sheriff’s department
discovered that an inmate was working as a federal informant.

The officials moved the inmate — identified only as AB in the
indictment — and changed his name, even altering the department’s
internal inmate database to falsely say he had been released,
according to the indictment.

Read the whole thing here.

Most people in law enforcement at all levels are not only
well-meaning, they play by the rules. Which makes it all the more
imporant to watch the watchers.

Hat tip: Dan Gifford.

In October 2009, LA County Sheriff’s Department officers hassled
Shawn Nee, an award-winning photographer, taking pictures in the
city’s subway system. Watch this video of the disturbing
confrontation – and then get even angrier when you learn that the
officers were lauded by their bosses:

from Hit & Run

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